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Crucian culture, music, mas and revelry was on full display for the 70th Crucian Christmas Festival 2022-2023! After a two-year hiatus caused by the global pandemic, the festival returned with in person events ranging from beauty pageants, food festivals, parades and much more.

Events kicked off on December 11th with the highly anticipated Princess & Duchess pageants followed by the Miss St. Croix Pageant. Zy’Naii Prentice and Je’Talia Hanley were crowned Festival Princess and Festival Duchess, respectively, while Rynel Harris was crowned Miss St. Croix. The Festival Village opened with the richness of Crucian culture on Friday, December 30th with Cultural Night that featured Virgin Islands Ambassadors including Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights quelbe band, Jam Band, Instylez The Band, and newly crowned Festival Princess and Duchess and Miss St. Croix. Village attendees also saw a colorful display of local USVI madras in a lively fashion show while reveling in the magic of Crucian culture.

The Calypso and Soca Monarch competitions saw the best of the best in local music vying for their respective titles. Each night of the festival village carried various themes that highlighted reggae, latin and soca music featuring local and international artists performing for all in downtown Frederiksted. The foreday morning event known as j’ouvert took place in the wee hours of January 5th where revelers danced in the streets of Frederiksted from 5am. For those who still had energy, the Food, Arts and Crafts Fair took place immediately after j’ouvert at the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Estate Lower Love where a sense of community and togetherness could be felt by all in attendance. Local foods and drinks were on sale like fish and fungi, crab and rice, roast pork, kallaloo, tamarind balls, passion fruit juice and sorrel drinks, to name a few.

The Children and Adult Parades were the highlight of the 70th Crucian Christmas Festival where reigning queens, masqueraders, steel pan bands, majorettes, mocko jumbies and quadrille dancers came out in droves to express their indescribable joy due to the long-awaited return of the festival. The closing fireworks after the Adult Parade was the perfect ending to a safe and successful festival season. It left visitor and local attendees, both in person and virtual, making plans to be on island for the 2023-2024 Crucian Christmas Festival. It’s never too early to start making plans. We hope you’ll join us in the fun at the next Crucian Christmas Festival in December 2023.

Written by Anquanette Gaspard